Readers’ Choice 2021: Best Home Exercise Equipment

We Asked, You Answered – The Winning Workout Equipment of 2021 Is…

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Of all the years to purchase home gym equipment, 2020 reigns supreme. 

With many gyms and fitness centers closed across the country, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many Americans have taken their workout routines into their own hands – and that often results in the purchase of home gym equipment to facilitate the process. In fact, 87 percent of AskMen’s Readers’ Choice participants say they currently have gym equipment at home. 

RELATED: Best Cardio Machines for Home

From rowing machines to exercise bikes, sales have been soaring across all sectors of the fitness equipment industry this past year – and this trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down. After all, even when it’s safe to hit up the gym again, you can’t beat the convenience of having a piece of equipment at home, ready for you on those days when you can’t be bothered to leave your pad.

For those who have yet to drop some $$ on a piece of home gym equipment and are looking to get in on the trend, our Readers’ Choice survey results are here to guide you. 

In our Readers’ Choice survey on home exercise equipment we asked you to dish on what you’re using to work up a sweat at home with these parameters in mind:

  • Brand

  • Technology Integration

  • Price

  • Size of Equipment

  • Customer Reviews

  • Workout Type

The core factors that went into your purchase decision were:

Workout type: Thirty-three percent of you shared that workout type was the biggest deciding factor in your purchase of home gym equipment. We get it, runners want their treadmills cyclists want to get their spin on.

Reviews: The importance of customer reviews cannot be denied, either. Twenty-three percent of you shared that customer reviews were the biggest deciding factor in your purchase of home gym equipment.

Price: Many pieces of home exercise equipment come at a hefty price, so it’s understandable that price was a big deciding factor for many of you in your home exercise equipment purchase – twenty-one percent of you, to be precise.
 

And the Winners Are…

Best Overall: Bowflex

Bowflex workout station with AskMen Readers' Choice seal overlay

Bowflex has become well-known in the fitness world thanks to its high-quality home gym equipment and workout accessory offerings that put form and function at a premium. With options ranging from stationary bikes and treadmills to home gym resistance training towers and Max Trainers, there is something for everyone in the Bowflex lineup to get fit and feel good right at home.

While the Max Trainers, stationary bikes, and Home Gym Series have all received rave reviews, with 4.6 out of 5-star ratings on Bowflex and Amazon alike, the Home Gym Series has proven to be your particular favorite with many of you claiming its efficiency and ease-of-use to be your favorite features.

Best Exercise Bike: Peloton

Peloton bike with AskMen Readers' Choice seal overlay

The Peloton Bike and Peloton Bike + have a fairly traditional stationary bike structure with a handlebar design ready for rides on and above the saddle and a relatively compact build that makes them great for tight quarters. Where these bikes truly shine, though, is in their tech integrations and spin class offerings. The Peloton Bike + includes some advanced sound features, a larger rotating touchscreen, and auto-follow resistance, but both bikes allow users to tune into live classes for a community feel and access an extensive array of saved workouts.

As one of you shared in the Readers’ Choice survey: “I have had an incredible experience with my Peloton as it is incredibly interactive with classes and instructor dialogue. I also love the competitive nature, as I am able to monitor my progress on the leaderboard.”

From $1,895 at OnePeloton.com

Best Treadmill: NordicTrack

NordicTrack Treadmill with AskMen Readers' Choice seal overlay

When you’re not hitting the track, you’re turning to NordicTrack to log some miles. NordicTrack’s treadmills are made with runners’ needs top of mind, with a range of speed and incline offerings and interactive touchscreens that allow users to keep things interesting with trainer-led workouts. 

Treadmill offerings include two commercial incline treadmills, three commercial treadmills with personalized training included, and a T Series of treadmills that offer interactive training.

The T 6.5 Si T Series Treadmill is one of the highest-rated models with 4.8 out of 5 stars and users particularly love the large library of workouts and coaching integration. 

As one of you shared in the Readers’ Choice survey: “The videos of running alongside a trainer through Portugal [are] awesome!”

From $1,99 at Nordictrack.com

Best Elliptical: NordicTrack

NordicTrack Elliptical with AskMen Readers' Choice seal overlay

Taking you from your living room to coastal Greece, the NordicTrack elliptical trainers offer more than just a cardio workout. On top of high-quality structures that are built to last and provide a range of resistance options, the FreeStride Trainer Elliptical series, Front Drive Elliptical series, and Rear Drive series are packed with interactive features and exercises on touchscreens to make workouts more engaging and effective.

You don’t have to worry about your NordicTrack elliptical making a ton of noise either, “Got this elliptical over a month ago. Just finished my first 150 miles on it. It’s quiet and smooth and with several levels of incline and resistance you can get a really good workout,” says one Amazon reviewer.

From $1,299 at Nordictrack.com

Best Workout Tower: ProForm 

ProForm Workout Tower with AskMen Readers' Choice seal overlay

ProForm carries a wide array of home exercise equipment, including modern mirrors with guided training sessions, treadmills, stationary bikes, and more. However, the frills-free Workout Tower is your favorite. Offering a stable and supportive base to practice body-weight training moves such as pull-ups, push-ups, and dips, this piece allows you to control the resistance intensity of your workout with your own body. 

If you’re in need of inspiration, this Workout Tower comes with a handy chart to guide you. “I am so satisfied with this product, easy assembly (used my own tools which made it super fast), sturdy, heavy-duty, comes with a great chart showing all the exercises you can utilize the tower for. My abs are sore! My brother helped me assemble it and is now also buying one!” says one Walmart reviewer.

$188.98 at Walmart.com


What’s Trending in Home Exercise Equipment?


Why you choose to work out: While brand preferences and budgets might vary from person to person, you share a lot of common ground in why you choose to work out. Building strength, weight loss, and improving cardio, were your top three responses, accounting for approximately 30 percent of the votes each. 

Fitness frequency: Most of your home exercise equipment is being put to good use, as well. Fifty percent shared that you work out two to three times a week, followed by 37 percent on a five to seven days a week schedule!

Types of equipment: Lastly, if you’re curious to know where you stand in the popularity of your workout routine of choice, here’s a breakdown. The exercise bike pedals to the front, capturing the hearts of 40 percent of Readers’ Choice respondents, followed by the treadmill at 26 percent, and weight training towers at 20 percent.


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